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Old 11-03-2019, 07:01 PM   #1
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Cleaning the trailer after winterizing

Here's a thought experiment:

1. I winterize and everything is done correctly
2. I clean the trailer and have to pour a small amount of soapy water down each drain and into the grey/black tanks (say 1L in each drain)
3. After cleaning, I re-up on anti-freeze for the p traps
4. I store the trailer for the winter and it gets cold enough for long enough for that water to freeze.

Do I have a problem? My assumption is that the water in the tanks will expand, as its nature requires it to do, and it has plenty of room - no problem.

Is my thinking straight?

Adam
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:10 PM   #2
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Why do you pour water down the drains and into the grey and black water tanks? Why would you want water freezing in those tanks?

If you do anything you would be better off putting antifreeze in the tanks to keep seals lubricated.
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afk314 View Post
Here's a thought experiment:

1. I winterize and everything is done correctly
2. I clean the trailer and have to pour a small amount of soapy water down each drain and into the grey/black tanks (say 1L in each drain)
3. After cleaning, I re-up on anti-freeze for the p traps
4. I store the trailer for the winter and it gets cold enough for long enough for that water to freeze.

Do I have a problem? My assumption is that the water in the tanks will expand, as its nature requires it to do, and it has plenty of room - no problem.

Is my thinking straight?

Adam


I do not worry about some water in my black or grey tanks. Those tanks are large and if ice forms or the entire water freezes there is plenty of room for expansion. I never like my black tank to go completely dry.
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by billrector View Post
I do not worry about some water in my black or grey tanks. Those tanks are large and if ice forms or the entire water freezes there is plenty of room for expansion. I never like my black tank to go completely dry.
I just pour some antifreeze into the tanks. If the water freezes it doesn’t really do any good anyway. The antifreeze does lubricate seals and provides liquid to any solids in the black tank.

Pour one quart of special RV antifreeze into the gray and black tanks to protect the drain valves and seals. Do this through all sink and shower drains—you want antifreeze in the pipe traps as well. Add about a pint to the toilet bowl to protect its flush valve and seals. Note: RV antifreeze is PINK.
How to Winterize an RV - ReserveAmerica
https://www.reserveamerica.com › outdoors › how-to-winterize-an-rv
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:07 PM   #5
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For cleaning

Daquenzer,

As the title suggests, I'm talking about cleaning the airstream AFTER it has been winterized. Cleaning the various wash basins, toilet and sink is a job for soapy water - so my question is about letting that soapy water run through the drain rather than trying to sponge it all back up or something else. Adding the water isn't intentional, its only a byproduct of cleaning.

Adam
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:23 PM   #6
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Clean before draining tanks. Empty tanks completely. No water. Then put enough antifreeze in both tanks to cover exit valve seals. I put at least 1 gallon in each waste tank. In the northland freezing is a different animal than down south.
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Originally Posted by afk314 View Post
Daquenzer,

As the title suggests, I'm talking about cleaning the airstream AFTER it has been winterized. Cleaning the various wash basins, toilet and sink is a job for soapy water - so my question is about letting that soapy water run through the drain rather than trying to sponge it all back up or something else. Adding the water isn't intentional, its only a byproduct of cleaning.

Adam
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:50 PM   #7
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Interesting thread...I always clean then winterize. And wipe down residual antifreeze on the sinks and shower, leaving plenty in the toilet for evaporation. Not sure why you would winterize then clean? Maybe I am missing something.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:56 PM   #8
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Cleaning later

I'm always eeking out the last days of the season before I have to put away my beloved trailer! I winterize before cleaning because nights with lows in the teens are not uncommon for me but doing the final cleaning can be done any old time. Thats why.


But nonetheless, the question remains - why would frozen water in the tanks matter?
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Old 11-04-2019, 04:49 AM   #9
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Simple:

1. Use a water-free cleaning method, with spray cleaners and paper towels/rags to wipe up; or

2. If misc. water gets into either of the holding tanks, just add plenty of extra RV antifreeze into the various P-traps, as well as down the toilet. A small amount of water which is also in the tanks will not create a freeze-up expansion problem IMO.

Personally, not sure if letting the RV AF sit in the toilet bowl helps or hurts the trap-door seal, so we wipe up any misc. pink stuff inside the bowl with a paper towel. There are special lubricants for that seal IMO.

Keep It Simple, Stu.

Peter
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Old 11-04-2019, 09:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by afk314 View Post
I'm always eeking out the last days of the season before I have to put away my beloved trailer! I winterize before cleaning because nights with lows in the teens are not uncommon for me but doing the final cleaning can be done any old time. Thats why.


But nonetheless, the question remains - why would frozen water in the tanks matter?
Now I understand your logic.
As far as water in the tanks I would be concerned that it freezes in the valve area of the tanks first and do damage to there. Now I suppose you can add a whole lot of anti-freeze and it would protect against that potential issue.
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:06 AM   #11
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Hi

Grab a bucket and put it under the drain. Open up the drain and empty the tanks. Go dump the bucket down the toilet ..... tanks are now reasonably empty.

Bob
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:08 AM   #12
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We dump and drain then add anti-freeze to Black/Grey via drains - no water here Below is a link to our Winter Protocol

https://www.marriedwithairstream.com...ge-check-list/
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:19 AM   #13
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Not a problem so much for the tanks as it is for the valves that drain the tanks. Best to insure that you remove as much residual water as possible then add RV antifreeze.
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by bweybright View Post
Now I understand your logic.
As far as water in the tanks I would be concerned that it freezes in the valve area of the tanks first and do damage to there. Now I suppose you can add a whole lot of anti-freeze and it would protect against that potential issue.
Yes, this. If there is enough "cleaning water" in the tank to fill the drain pipe,(black or grey) from the valve back into the tank you will risk the pipe freezing and breaking the pipe. Been there, done that. When you are done cleaning, drain the tanks into a bucket or other appropriate receptacle. Black tank contents go into the toilet in the house, the grey contents water the shrubs. Then add your anti freeze to the p-traps adding a little extra that will help any remaining water left in the bottom of the tank from freezing.
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Old 11-04-2019, 03:19 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by afk314 View Post
Daquenzer,

As the title suggests, I'm talking about cleaning the airstream AFTER it has been winterized. Cleaning the various wash basins, toilet and sink is a job for soapy water - so my question is about letting that soapy water run through the drain rather than trying to sponge it all back up or something else. Adding the water isn't intentional, its only a byproduct of cleaning.

Adam
Sorry. Misunderstood. As stated in other posts. Don't want any water in the tanks. Use a spray bottle or a bucket. But don't put water into the system. Then pour antifreeze into the tanks.
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Old 11-04-2019, 03:32 PM   #16
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Years ago I never left anything in the toilet on my SOB and would soak up any residual left at the bottom. What I realized however, was that the seal was drying up over the winter and upon first opening of the valve, there would be some sticking of the seal. I didn't realize the wear and tear that this was putting on the seal and eventually that seal became worn and the bowl would no longer hold water. Getting that seal replaced was difficult.

Since then I always have kept the toilet with enough RV antifreeze at the bottom so when spring came, it still was immersed. I've noticed that the valve does not stick and quite honestly my Classic had just finished its 15th season with no signs of the gasket not sealing or signs of the bowl not holding water.

My last step is to just use a paper towel to remove any splashed antifreeze in the shower and toilet and sinks. I typically use a spray on cleaner to wipe everything down prior to starting the winterize process.

Jack
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Old 11-04-2019, 05:03 PM   #17
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Interesting thread...I always clean then winterize. And wipe down residual antifreeze on the sinks and shower, leaving plenty in the toilet for evaporation. Not sure why you would winterize then clean? Maybe I am missing something.
Yes, we always clean, THEN winterize. Though I doubt if the small amount of water your are talking about is really gonna hurt, especially if there is already a small amount of RV antifreeze in the grey and black tanks from the winterizing process, maybe chase down the pipes or fixtures that you added the cleaning water with a little extra antifreeze. I usually can get a galloon of RV antifreeze for about $1.28. I usually buy a month two before now, as I see that the price of anitfreeze usually goes up a buck or two this time of year.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:22 PM   #18
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For all the slide valves use the cheapest coconut oil you can buy (that is what Thetford's valve lubricant is) and put it down the drains to the valves in order to lubricate them. Also, put some in the toilet for that seal then prop the valve open with a 3" wide piece of wood. That keeps the valve open so it can't freeze. Several things to remember when winterizing: When all the water is gone open all the valves, then none of them are likely to freeze. That includes the toilet and sink spray nozzles. Hold them open with a plastic squeeze hand clamps. Don't forget to disconnect both the inlet and outlet lines on the water pump. Run it to purge the water. Doing this when using compressed air has always worked for me.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:25 AM   #19
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For all the slide valves use the cheapest coconut oil you can buy (that is what Thetford's valve lubricant is) and put it down the drains to the valves in order to lubricate them. Also, put some in the toilet for that seal then prop the valve open with a 3" wide piece of wood. That keeps the valve open so it can't freeze.
I would think that propping open the toilet valve with a piece of wood runs the risk of damaging the seal as that is what the wood is against while propping the valve open. Simply putting a cup or 2 of antifreeze in the toilet bowl for the winter makes better sense. I suppose you could also put some coconut oil in the bowl instead.

Once you have either blown out your lines or run antifreeze through the system and emptied the contents of the toilet bowl, there is nothing there to freeze, so propping it open is unnecessary.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:51 AM   #20
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I would think that propping open the toilet valve with a piece of wood runs the risk of damaging the seal as that is what the wood is against while propping the valve open. Simply putting a cup or 2 of antifreeze in the toilet bowl for the winter makes better sense. I suppose you could also put some coconut oil in the bowl instead.

Once you have either blown out your lines or run antifreeze through the system and emptied the contents of the toilet bowl, there is nothing there to freeze, so propping it open is unnecessary.
Hi

Propping it open may make the whole trailer smell like the inside of the black tank when you open things up in the spring ....

Bob
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